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Socialists lead in Spain's election

(Xinhua)    10:05, November 11, 2019

SPAIN-GENERAL ELECTION-PEDRO SANCHEZ-VOTE

Spain's Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez casts his ballot at a polling station in Pozuelo de Alarcon, Spain, Nov. 10, 2019. Spain's polling stations opened on Sunday at 9 a.m. local time (0800 GTM) for the country's fourth general election in four years and the second in 2019 following an inconclusive vote held on April 28. Spanish citizens will elect their representatives in the Cortes Generales, or the Spanish parliament, which is made up by the Congress of Deputies and the Senate. (Photo by Juan Carlos/Xinhua)

MADRID, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) of acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez led in the general election on Sunday, which also saw the right-wing party Vox make important gains.

The preliminary results once again leave with a divided Congress of Deputies (the lower chamber in the Spanish parliament) in which it is hard to see how political parties will be able to find the support to form a government.

With 99.30 percent of the votes counted, the Socialist Party won 28 percent of the votes, compared with 28.67 percent in April, which translated into 120 seats in the 350-seat congress, compared with the 123 they won six month ago.

The conservative Peoples' Party improved on their April performance, winning 20.81 percent of the votes and 88 seats, compared with their record low of 16.69 percent and 66 seats in the previous elections.

The big winner is Vox, which won 15.10 percent of the vote and 52 deputies, compared to 10.26 percent and 24 seats in the April vote.

"Eleven months ago we didn't have any representation in any institution, now we are the third party in Spain," said Vox leader Santiago Abascal.

The PP and Vox both benefitted from the almost total collapse of the center-right Ciudadanos party, whose support fell from 15.86 percent to just 6.79 percent, with the number of deputies gained reduced from 57 to 10.

Ciudadanos party leader Albert Rivera announced a meeting of the party's executive committee, during which he said he would "assume all of the decisions that the party executive takes".

The left wing party Unidos Podemos also suffered a setback, seeing its number of deputies fall to 35 from 42, although this was slightly offset by the arrival of the new left-wing party Mas Pais, which claimed 3 seats.

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